Isn't it wonderful when we put in a LOT of effort, and in return we see some gratitude? It makes all our effort feel so much lighter, doesn't it?
While very few people these days show gratitude for other's effort, most dogs subtly show their gratitude. In ways we may have to discover through observation and awareness.
Now, with rescue dogs this is more pronounced. Rescue dogs often are the most grateful companions to have around. And it doesn't take much to feel their gratitude. Day in, day out!
This gratitude is what can make us feel joyful. But it goes further: Most times we can easily see that it makes the dog joyful too, to show his/her gratitude, and to notice that we appreciate it. With a rescue dog it almost always is a give-and-take. While with dogs that never experienced a shelter it can often feel like they take all for granted. We can't blame the dog for that, can we?
Believe it or not, this is a BIG difference in quality of life, both for us and for the dog.
If you have a rescue dog but haven't yet noticed much gratitude, look at your dog now and smile (you can do the same if you don't have a rescue dog). Closely watch your dog's reaction. When you take your dog out for a walk, hold on for a moment and just look at your dog, doing nothing, saying nothing. Closely watch your dog's reaction. When you serve a meal (ideally homemade!), hold on for a moment and just look at your dog, again doing nothing and saying nothing. Closely watch your dog's reaction each time.
Start doing things different. And holding on for a moment, just looking while doing and saying nothing, that's always good. It will drastically improve your relationship with your dog, whether rescue or not. By the way, it's the start of Behavior Training your dog - as opposed to Obedience Training. And Behavior Training is the best training there is.
Be prepared that your dog will show gratitude now even more often. Enjoy your rescue dog!
Note that every key point raised above you can find more comprehensively explained in other places on this website. The menu is your friend. Here, links have been omitted only to keep this decision tree straightforward.
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